Quake is a thematic experience that allows us to see and feel the Great Lisbon Earthquake. It is an invitation, in the form of a journey through time, to discover more about the 1755 Earthquake, about the Age of Enlightenment, about Lisbon and about seismic events. Being better prepared for a new earthquake is what Quake is all about.
Some things are granted.
Contrary to what is chanted,
some things should be taken for granted.
For adults, taxes. For kids, classes.
For all, the love of dogs. No matter the circumstances.
Grannies with their teas
prove that life is full of certainties.
In Portugal, one keeps us awake,
sooner or later there will be an earthquake.
You see, our country sits,
on one of those tectonic shifts.
In 1755 the Great Earthquake was a calamity.
As the earth shook, so did the sea.
Houses and squares where consumed by fire
As Lisbon crumbled, so did the empire
It destroyed a city in a blink of an eye.
Thought to be God’s wrath, now we know why.
Science says will it happen again.
It’s not a question of “if” but a question of “when”
For the seismic event that will certainly ensue,
to learn and prepare is the wise thing to do.
So be smart and think ahead.
As Oscar Wilde once said:
To expect the unexpected
shows a thoroughly modern intellect.
Expect the unexpected.
About the idea and ambition
In Lisbon's long history, there is - unsurprisingly - one moment in particular that fascinates, intrigues and unsettles us. The 1st of November 1755. First, because of the scale of the human tragedy it caused. Then, because, with what we know today, it is difficult to hide a hint of pride at the prompt, decisive and visionary (one might even say enlightened) way in which the authorities of the time reacted to the catastrophe. Finally, because that day changed the city forever. The Lisbon we know was built on top of another, irretrievably lost. Which led us to ask a question: and if it were today, would we be individually and collectively better prepared? Quake is the answer to that question.
About the people and the talent
But how to we tell the story of the day that changed Lisbon forever? How to link the fun nature of the experience we offer and the accuracy that we do not abdicate? The past, the present and the future? Bringing to life the magnitude of the events - without neglecting the complexity and richness of details and bearing in mind the limitations of historical reconstructions - made us go beyond the usual exhibition mechanisms. Quake's narrative, the historical and scientific accuracy and the use of technology - immersive during and intuitive after the visit - are combined to awaken our will and interest to discover more, in the present.
To make Quake possible, we brought together knowledge and talent, technology and creativity. The initial work of seismologists Susana Custódio and Luís Matias, teachers at the Faculty of Science of the University of Lisbon and researchers at Dom Luiz Institute, as well as of historian and writer André Canhoto Costa, is the foundation on which we began to create Quake. Marta Pisco, theatre producer, coordinated the creative process in articulation with the scientific and historical content presented by the experts.
The development of the concept and the creation of the experience was the task of Jora Vision, a Dutch design, production and technology company. The Portuguese studio Fragmentos was in charge of the building's project, integrating it into the architectural panorama of Belém, the city's main recreational, leisure and cultural area. The Lisbon Museum/EGEAC played the key role of partner and supporter in the historical research and in providing images and documentation to support the experience. The brand's design and communication was in charge of Little. To all, our thank you. The merit will be of all, the mistakes only ours. Welcome to Quake - Lisbon Earthquake Centre. Let the adventure begin!
Quake would not be possible without the support of several entities and institutions. Here we present our deepest gratitude to all our partners who have shared with us this journey.